Marshmello might just be the unlikeliest pop star you could imagine—the anonymous DJ/producer is known only by his cartoonish, marshmallow-shaped mask, with its broad smile and big, sympathetic eyes. But given the way his music has resonated, he’s clearly the pop star we needed. He got his start with an equally unlikely fusion of tough-as-nails trap and candied EDM, and as early fans debated his identity, a co-sign from Skrillex gave singles like 2015’s trance-laced “Find Me” a viral boost. On Marshmello’s debut album, 2016’s Joytime, his signature qualities began to come into focus—the wistful vibes of “Summer,” the playful melodies of “Blocks,” the chilled-out cool of “Keep It Mello,” featuring deliciously laidback rapping from Omar LinX—but it was the nostalgic “Alone,” with its twin nods to 2000s emo and 1980s electro-pop, that solidified his persona. (“Alone” also kicked off a string of clever coming-of-age-themed videos that reinforced his essential relatability.) Since then, Marshmello has gone from an EDM curiosity to a ubiquitous fixture in pop, using collaborations with artists like Selena Gomez and Logic to further his singular brand of fun.
- Philadelphia, PA
- 19 May 1992